Back in 2011, a friend spoke of these magical financial vehicles called “index funds”. What was news to me at the time sparked immediate deep research and eventual action.
Index funds have seen massive traction in the “FIRE” or Financial Independence, Retire Early community. And while there are many funds that track many indexes, the most common recommendations made tend to track the following indexes:
Whether right or wrong, the general consensus from this community is that for every $100 invested today, it will pay you back $4 every year, for at least 33 years.
This is known as the 4 percent rule, and is the “safe withdrawal rate” that finance bloggers like MMM, jlcollinsnh, Millenial Revolution and everyone else rehashing the same stuff over and over are talking about (no disrespect, there’s just very little “new” information).
go to university, college or some sort of technical training
get a job
find a partner
work hard in your career
buy a house
work until you’re 65+
Depending on what country you grow up in, the demographic you are in and who your parents are, this script may look different to you, but I’d wager regardless of where you were raised, there’s some sort of prescribed script that has been passed down to you.
And while it’s not uncommon for people to deviate from this script – by choosing not having kids, retiring at 55, or building a business instead of a career, traditionally most people followed most of their life’s script.
But with the rise of the digital nomads, widespread entrepreneurship, remote work and financial independence, more and more are going to discover the unique challenges associated with their newfound freedom.
I’ve been asked a number of times recently to write up “my story”. Usually I try and write with you, the reader in mind, but it’s been made clear to me that sharing my personal experiences has a lot of value to those aspiring to become location independent (trust me, it’s not all travel and mountain biking as my Instagram might depict).
When so many “digital nomad coaches” post aspirational photos of themselves getting sand in their laptops or developing text neck at the beach, then claim the answers are all in their $49 ebook, it’s understandable many of you are skeptical.
My goal is to tell you one man’s story of how he got to where he is today. With any luck there’ll be something of use here.
I am not a guru. I am not wildly successful. I have just carved out a humble existence while remaining independent of a single city or country.
In this post I’ll run through how I found myself half way down this path before realising it was even a path, lessons along the way, and my current situation.